Marianne von Werefkin (First Draft)


Russian-German-Swiss artist/Expressionist painter

Born  Sept 10, 1860 in Tula, Russia

Maiden Name: Marianna Wladimirowna Werewkina

Died Feb 6, 1938 in Ascona, Switzerland 

Biographical Detail: 

Grew up in a wealthy family, mostly spent travelling across Russia 

due to her fathers assignments to different locations 

1874 Started taking private drawing lessons from the age of 14 

1880 Started studying with the famous Russian Realist painter Ilya Repin

1896 Moved to Munich, studied art history 

1897 Formed the St. Lukas Brotherhood, an informal artists’ salon; Wassily Kandinsky amongst its members

1903 Werefkin and her partner Jawlensky spent a year and a half in Paris and the south of France

1905 Returned to Munich, Germany

1908 Moved south of Munich to the small Bavarian town of Murnau am Staffelsee; amongst the painters Gabriele Münter and Wassily Kandinsky 

1909 The four “Murnau artists” as well as Franz Marc and August Macke founded the Neue Künstlervereinigung München 

1913 Werefkin joined the “Der Blaue Reiter” group, becoming known as “Blue Riders’ woman rider”

1914 Outbreak of WW1: Werefkin emigrated to neutral Switzerland; first close to Geneva, then Zurich and later Ascona 

1924 Founded an artists’ group names The Big Bear or Ursa Major 

Artistic Work: Paintings, multiple self-portraits   

Selection of Works: 

Lettres à un Inconnu (‘Letters to a Stranger’)(1902)(journal)

Self-Portrait in a Sailor’s Blouse (1893)

Portrait of Helene (1909)

Return Home (1909)

Sources:, Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website),  Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website), Marianne von Werefkin (Link to Website)

Artist’s Estate:

Fondazione Marianne Werefkin at the Museo Comunale d’arte moderna, Ascona (Link to Website)

Story map of the artist’s life: